Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Earthquake bill could unnecessarily sting Waikato

Earthquake bill could unnecessarily sting Waikato

The Waikato Mayoral Forum is warning local Waikato communities could individually face multi-million dollar expenditure to comply with “excessive” new earthquake legislation being promoted by the Government.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill suggests a significant toughening of building earthquake-risk rules in an effort to boost community safety.

“The forum accepts the need for legislative change but believes the current proposals are excessive and don’t include an appropriate risk assessment process,” said chairman Allan Sanson.

This is especially the case in Waikato which is generally an area of very low seismic risk, apart from Taupo and the Hauraki Plains, said Mr Sanson.

“In line with Local Government New Zealand, we strongly urge the Government to think again before imposing the threat of major, unnecessary burdens on Waikato communities. Any new rules need to better reflect the actual risks faced in particular locations around New Zealand rather than take such a broad, one size fits all approach.”

In a formal submission on the bill, the forum said a typical rural district faced initial estimated extra building assessment costs of $3-$4 million, with additional related annual administrative costs of $1.2-$1.5 million.

“It is estimated that of those buildings assessed about 20 per cent are potentially earthquake prone. Affected building owners in such a typical rural district face potential upgrade costs estimated to be more than $100 million.”

The submission noted assessments of buildings to be carried out by councils would be a cost on ratepayers, who would also have to bear the cost of any upgrades to council-owned buildings.

The forum warned high costs of upgrades could lead to widespread demolition of buildings in town centres across the Waikato “with little left standing”.

“Apart from their personal loss of equity, the cost to communities will be in the availability of commercial buildings and therefore places of employment. It will also significantly impact on ease of doing business for the rural communities who are serviced by these towns.”

Demolitions would “potentially risk the future of communities and impose significant economic hardship for our people” and have “long-term social and economic impacts”.

The submission said the bill’s “broad blanket” approach could not be justified to Waikato rural communities on cost-benefit grounds. “These are communities where typically the risk of an earthquake is considered to be low and the potential benefits that will be achieved will be significantly less than expected additional costs that are to be imposed.”

The forum recommended the local government and environment select committee ask for further investigation into earthquake probabilities and risks.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts